There has been less hype, maybe there will be less venom when the Heat return to Cleveland for the second time this Tuesday. The game was not even a sell out hours before tip off. Maybe it will be more basketball and less circus. We can hope, anyway.
But make no mistake the Cavs want to win. Badly. As evidence they are starting Baron Davis Tuesday, tweets Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. That comes about 24 hours after Davis himself said he was not ready to play starters minutes, but what does he know?
Here’s a little secret — Davis has played well in limited minutes in Cleveland. In six games he is shooting 45.1 percent (higher than he ever has for a full season) and is hitting 50 percent of his threes). He’s still assisting on nearly 40 percent of his team’s baskets when he is on the court.
Look at it this way: Since coming to Cleveland he has a PER of 22.9, which if he did it for a season would have him between Amar’e Stoudemire and Zach Randolph this season. Like All-Star level.
Davis knocking down those pull-up threes and setting up teammates (who also are hitting) is the Cavs best and only real shot at winning this thing and giving the fans of Cleveland the cathartic release they wish. And it’s not going to be enough. But Cleveland fans still hate LeBron and they want this game, so the Cavs are going throw Baron out there and give it a shot.
NEW YORK (AP) James Harden had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 12th triple-double of the season and the Houston Rockets easily ended their first losing streak of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 on Sunday night.
Held to 105 points in losses to Minnesota and Memphis, the Rockets bounced back with 104 after three quarters and handed the Nets their 10th straight loss.
Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 24 points and Trevor Ariza added 23. Houston made 21 3-pointers and had five players with at least 16 points.
Houston shot just 40.8 percent during its two losses, well below its 46.8 season average, while being held nearly 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Rockets had no trouble bouncing back against the Nets, who allow an NBA-worst 114.3 per game.
Joel Embiid has fans all around the NBA. Some even came out to see him during the Philadelphia 76ers game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday despite the Cameroonian big man sitting out due to restrictions on playing in back-to-back games.
#BusTheProcess was the hashtag used to get 350 Sixers fans to the game in D.C. thanks to Embiid, coach Brett Brown, and the podcast The Rights to Ricky Sanchez.
Via Twitter and ESPN:
Fun stuff for some dedicated fans, even if they didn’t get to see Embiid play.
Unfortunately for the #BusTheProcess folks, the 76ers wound up losing to the Wizards, 109-93.
Michael Carter-Williams is still shaking the dust off after being inserted into the starting lineup, I guess. At least, that’s about what you can say when you pass the ball off your starting center’s face.
But there’s good news! The Chicago Bulls scored on this play.
Let’s take a look at the whole thing, shall we?
I think the more important question is whether Carter-Williams received a secondary or primary assists on the NBA.com tracking site.
ATLANTA (AP) Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five.
Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015.
Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season.